Irfan Bashir, a local boy from Kashmir, has penned India’s first book on the social impact of crowdfunding with Ravina Banze, who hails from Bombay. The book titled ‘Crowdfunding: The Story of People’ is the first of its kind from India and explores crowdfunding from a socio-economic, psychological, and global perspective. The book features real-life stories of people and communities who have benefitted from crowdfunding along with case studies of online crowdfunding platforms that have had the most social impact in their respective countries, with a primary focus on India.
The book uses a data-driven storytelling approach to capture the impact and potential of crowdfunding in a world governed by inequality. As per the authors, “it does so while maintaining a constant grip on both the micro and macro perspectives of collective giving, social collaboration, and financial inclusion.”
Ravina and Irfan both were working for Ketto, one of India’s top crowdfunding platforms, when they decided to write the book. Irfan has a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Economics from the University of Rochester, where he studied on a full scholarship for the duration of his degree. Ravina has completed her Master’s in Data Analytics from the Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy. As per the authors, it was the general lack of awareness about crowdfunding that led them to work on the book.
The book has received positive reviews from industry leaders across India, with several founders praising the authors for their efforts. “A brilliant must-read. This book is fast-paced and weaves you through economics, consumer behavior, finance, technology, and global trends to beautifully explain how crowdfunding is making the world a much better place,” Ranganath Thota (Founder of Fuel A Dream) has written about the book in his review. Bilal Zaidi, the founder of Our Democracy, India’s biggest crowdfunding platform for socio-political crowdfunding, has called it “an important book to understand how Indians are using crowdfunding to empower themselves.”
The book’s Foreword has been written by Varun Sheth, the CEO of Ketto, who has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, Fortune 40 under 40 list, and ET’s 40 under 40 list of entrepreneurs. When asked about the response the book has received so far, Irfan said, “So, far, we have seen a very positive response from readers. The book is already available in India, the US and other major countries on Amazon; we now hope to put it in major stores and universities across India and the rest of the world.”
Primarily, crowdfunding is the practice of getting a large number of people to each give small amounts of money in order to finance a project, typically using the internet. “Across India, crowdfunding has played a major during the coronavirus pandemic, with crowdfunding platforms raising money to support relief efforts, fund medical treatments, and provide monetary support to people during their personal emergencies,” Ravina remarked.